Today is my birthday!! Even though I am a year older and now, officially closer to 50 than 40 (I’m 46 today), I can honestly say that I feel younger today than I did five years ago. Sure, there are still times when I may feel a little tuckered after going for a run, but five years ago I never went for a run…like never.
I can also honestly say that I am having more fun in my life now than I was five years ago. I’ve learned to Stand Up Paddle Board, I travel more, enjoy various hobbies and I enjoy hiking and riding my bicycle etc. This made me start to wonder if there was any correlation then between having fun and staying young so I decided to do a little research and guess what–there is a BIG correlation.
If you’d like to discover your own personal Fountain of Youth, try a few of these FUN and FabYOUlous tips to help you turn back the clock on aging…
Seven Fab-YOU-lous Ways to Have Fun and Stay Young
1.) Cut a rug as you jitterbug. Kicking up your heels and busting a move on the dance floor is tons of fun but it is also a great way to stay young. First, dancing increases your heart rate which improves cardiovascular health. Second, learning new dance steps (it doesn’t matter if it’s the Tango, Electric Slide or Cupid Shuffle) can reduce the risk of dementia twice as much as doing crossword puzzles or reading. This combination of boosting brain activity and blood flow at the same time, makes dancing a FabYOUlous way to have some fun while staying young.
2.) Do some hookin’. NO! Not that kind of hooking (get your mind out of the gutter! ha!) I’m talking about the kind of hooking you do with a crochet hook. Or, if crochet isn’t your cup of tea, try knitting, pottery, painting, song writing, etc. Any kind of creative activity will suffice. In fact, folks who enjoy any type of creative outlet tend to score an average of seven years younger on tests of physical endurance than less creative people. Studies show that creative endeavors seem to bolster brain areas that regulate self-control which makes it easier for creative types to eat healthy, stick to an exercise program, etc.
3.) Doodle. The next time you find yourself stuck in a boring meeting or on a long phone call, do a little doodling to pass the time. Mindlessly drawing will help to keep your brain young and sharp and research shows that drawing while listening to a lecture or other important meeting will help to lock in what you hear so that you can later recall the information more easily.
4.) Share posts on Facebook. Studies show that women who keep in regular contact with their BFF’s tend to live years longer than their less social peers. Sure–face to face contact may be the best way to connect with friends and loved ones but research shows that connecting via social media works too. According to Judith Orloff, M.D., “social support reduces the risk of depression, which is linked to many other health problems.” So, go ahead–Tweet, post or gram your way to better health and while you’re at it, be sure to follow FabYOUlous Life on social media (links in the header!)
5.) Hum a tune. Sing in the shower, in your car or while doing yard work. Don’t worry about whether or not you can carry a tune–just have fun singing. Doing so will quickly ease anxiety and make you feel calmer because singing (or even just humming) increases oxygen levels to the brain which helps to keep it functioning at a younger, more fit level.
6.) Laugh it up. Few things feel better than a good ol’ belly laugh and as it turns out–not only is laughing fun, it also has age fighting health benefits as well. Click here for a full run-down on the ways in which a great sense of humor can help to keep you healthy and therefore young. Then, go pop in a sitcom or hit a local comedy club and let loose with the laughs.
7.) Have fun while doing good. Not only does volunteering for your favorite organization or helping your elderly neighbor mow the lawn feel good, it can also be a lot of fun and help to keep you young at heart. Studies prove that volunteering increases longevity because it helps to reduce blood pressure. In fact, adults aged 50 plus who volunteer approximately four hours a week are 40% less likely to develop high blood pressure. Even if you don’t have a lot of extra time to give, you can always help in smaller ways like helping an elderly person carry their groceries to their car or buying coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive-through.
These suggestions show that age truly is just a state of mind and that having fun is an important component to maintaining vitality and youthfulness. Find some time to insert some fun into your schedule this week and reap the FabYOUlously age-defying benefits.